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TBB says Goodbye Ronnie



The Backstage Beat would like to offer our condolences to Ronnie Hammond’s family and friends.

Tomorrow, March 18th they will gather to celebrate his life and lay him to rest.

Funeral services will be held at 1P.M., Friday, March 18, 2011 at Maynard Baptist Church, 1195 Juliette Road, Forsyth, GA 31029 with burial in Monroe Memorial Gardens.  Michael Wilds will officiate.  The family will greet friends from 11:00 A.M. until the hour of the funeral at the church.

We got to know Atlanta Rhythm Section as they are now throughout 2010 and although we never met Ronnie personally we’ve known his voice.

He will live on forever in the music of Atlanta Rhythm Section and in the hearts of friends like Steve Stone.

Steve talked to us today and this is what he said about Ronnie:

“First I was a fan from when they started going strong in the 70’s. Then I was a band mate which through years of traveling and recording turned into being more like family. Ronnie was the most naturally gifted musician I have ever played with. Everything he did musically as well as in life was from the heart. About a month ago we were texting each other and he said, ‘Steve you are always in my heart’. That will always stay with me and he will always be in mine.”

Ronald William “Ronnie” Hammond -FORSYTH – Ronald William “Ronnie” Hammond died Monday, March 14, 2011. Funeral services will be held at 1P.M., Friday, March 18, 2011 at Maynard Baptist Church, 1195 Juliette Road, Forsyth, GA 31029 with burial in Monroe Memorial Gardens. Michael Wilds will officiate. The family will greet friends from 11:00 A.M. until the hour of the funeral at the church.
Ronnie was born November 10, 1950, in Macon, Georgia. His father, James Murray Hammond and his mother, Marie Martin Hammond Hester, preceded him in death. Ronnie was a retired musician and carpenter. He was the former lead singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. ARS had several regional and national hits during the 1970s. Ronnie left the band in the early 1980s to be at home with his new son and family. During his years off the road, he continued to write music, with songwriting partner and producer Buddy Buie. He rejoined the group in 1987. Ronnie was an avid baseball fan and loved “The Beatles”.
Survivors include his wife, Tracey Hammond of Forsyth; son, Jesse Hammond (Katie) of Macon; brothers, Jerry Martin (Sherrill) of Macon, Jimmy Hammond (Debra) of Franklin, Tennessee, Steve Hammond (Kim) of Juliette; sisters, Fay Baker (John) of Valdosta, and Angie Myers (Johnny) of Watts, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Maddie Knight and Allie Hammond.
The family may be contacted at the residence of Jim and Louise Wilds, 903 Sutton Road, Forsyth, GA 31029 or the residence of Steve and Kim Hammond, 156 Marvin Circle, Juliette, GA 31046.
Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made “In Memory of Ronnie Hammond” to Monroe County Memorial Chapel, 156 Marvin Circle, Juliette, GA 31046. -Please visit to express tributes.
Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of arrangements.
Published in The Telegraph on March 17, 2011

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!



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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5



Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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